Like most arts students I majored in something I have never used. Advertising. Well, when I say never used I mean I have never converted the knowledge to income. However, I do use it in the way in that I can no longer passively digest advertising messages. I am constantly analysing advertisements and the reasoning (or lack thereof) behind them.
I am amazed at the lack of ingenuity behind a lot of ads for big companies whose advertising budget I can only assume would make a Rockefeller weep. Who are the creatives behind these ads? They must be on huge salaries and yet they come up with some of the most uninspired drivel. Give me your job please. With no sense of arrogance I will write you a better ad and I will do it for a bottle of wine and a chiko roll.
It’s very easy to piss on the work of others without backing it up, so let me give you an example.
Seriously. If I see one more “this is the new that” ad I am going to scream. This slogan is a cop out. Every second advertisement I see seems to have some version of this as a slogan, brandished without any thought or originality. What does that even mean mini is the new big? Yes I get it is a play on the ‘is the new black’ pop culture reference to express one popular idea over-riding another, but how does it even fit here? It’s just less of the same thing! Did this exec wake up in the morning with a giant hangover and forget that he had the big Hungry Jacks pitch today? And why are there two of them? Surely eating multiple small burgers is pretty much on a par with eating one burger. What I’m getting at here is: where is the benefit? All advertising must include an inherent benefit to the customer to have any effectiveness at all. Perhaps “health is the new obesity” might be more fitting when making the burgers tiny but not so great for the brand. The amount of money probably spent on this cowpat of a campaign makes me shudder.
Enough! It’s been done! No one is allowed to use this anymore. Because I said so. And saying so is the new not saying so.
It’s not just print advertising irking me at the moment either. Social media has given rise to a whole new world of ineffective advertising.
Facebook is targeted marketing’s wet dream. Advertisers don’t even need to come looking for us anymore. We put it all out there. What we like. What we dislike. What our interests are. Most companies are jumping on the “find us on Facebook” bandwagon and why wouldn’t they? The audience is coming to them. What a lot of advertisers fail to realise however is that this only works for popular things. Cool things. Things people like. Find us on Facebook does not work for foot fungi cream. That purchase is a necessity and not worthy of a fan club. I actually saw an ad on a bus for Betadine Sore Throat Gargle that had a ‘find us on Facebook’ tab in the corner. I’m sorry Betadine Sore Throat Gargle but why would I want to be your friend? You kill germs in my throat and you don’t seem like you would be very fun to hang out with. And no I am not interested in seeing photos of you getting drunk with your friends nor am I interested in anything you might have to say as a status update
“got poured down someone’s pus covered throat and then spat into the sink ..fuck my life”
Perhaps because the ads themselves are so uninspired it is forcing advertisers to get sneakier and sneakier with the method of delivery.
Ok so I expect when I turn on the television or read a magazine I am going to be confronted with advertising. And you know what, that’s ok. I’ve come to terms with that. I can turn a page or change a channel. I have options. What I don’t expect is to going into the 2010 ‘starter’ version of word that came with my new computer and have advertisements flashing up at me while am trying to work. And guess what? There is no way to turn them off. Are your serious Microsoft!? How the hell are people meant to concentrate with things swirling around in the corner of their eye while they are trying to write? I am going to go down to the Microsoft office and dress in bright colours and streamers and dance right next to their desks. See how THEY concentrate. I never understood why WordPad existed until now.
I also resent having advertising faxed to me. Not only are they using a totally 80’s medium they are also using my paper to do it. I wouldn’t care if they were selling a bag of orgasms for 50c I would still not buy it for the pure principle that they have used my own paper to advertise to me against my will. Jerks.
So where will it all end? Will advertising keep escalating in aggressiveness and declining in creativity? I am envisioning a future where advertisers knock on your front door, punch you in the face and tattoo “BUYING MY STUFF IS THE NEW ME NOT PUNCHING YOU AGAIN” on your face.
I would follow that on Facebook.